For the fourth year in a row, we have partnered with Iceland Travel to run a competition to win a spot at the Iceland Writers Retreat. This year’s theme was “Waterfalls” and we received 350 submissions from the around the world.
This year’s second place went to “The Old Gods” by Rebecca Gordon of the United States. You can read Rebecca’s piece below!
Iceland Writers Retreat brings together writers from around the world for five days of learning, exploring, writing, and creative inspiration. Along with being from diverse backgrounds, writers are working across multiple styles of writing, and as such, the Retreat aims to offer a mix of workshops that can apply across genres as well as deep delves into specific forms of writing.
Each faculty member will teach two workshops, usually with a mixture of seminar discussion and exercises. For the 2018 Retreat, workshop options include exercises in establishing voice, outlining a novel, and learning to edit your work. Some classes focus on sensory writing, while others teach how to write a book review. From travel writing to dissecting the art of the scene to explorations of wickedness, there are surely workshops for any kind of writer.
The full list of workshops (and their descriptions) are now posted on our About the Retreat page. With such fascinating classes, and high-calibre Featured Authors, the only problem now is narrowing down what to register for!
BusinessWorld India has published their Luxury 2017 edition and named Iceland Writers Retreat as one of their favourite “writing paradises.” They cited our distinguished faculty, small workshopping group sizes, and the opportunity to explore Iceland. Read more in their article, The Writerly Life, by poet and editor Jonaki Ray.
Iceland Writers Retreat co-founder Eliza Reid and author, journalist, and 2016 IWR faculty-member Andrew Westoll will be presenting “The Write Stuff: How Iceland Inspires Loves of the Written Word” at Taste of Iceland Toronto.
The event will take place at 6:00 pm on November 9th at The Spoke Club (600 King St W, Toronto, ON) and is free to attend!
The 2017 Brittle Paper Literary Award winners have been announced, and IWR alumni Megan Ross has won in the fiction category! They said of her work: “A study of intimacy and companionship set in Thailand and South Africa, a reflection on love and language, on foreknowledge and inevitability, “Farang” is wrought in visual prose so lyrical and controlled it moves like a spring.”
Ross was the winner of IWR’s first-ever Alumni Award, and attended the Retreat in 2016. Read about her experience here, and if you are interested in following in her footsteps, you have until next week to apply for the Alumni Award for 2018’s Retreat!
The Iceland Writers Retreat welcomes one Social Media and Marketing Intern each year. This intern helps maintain social media and promote the various aspects of the Iceland Writers Retreat. This year’s intern is Jessica Key.
IWR: How did you become an intern for the Iceland Writers Retreat?
Jessica: I am a Master of Publishing student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The degree includes a professional placement component, where students work with a sponsoring organization to gain practical experience and learn more about the publishing industry from the inside.
Prior to doing my degree, I had interned and/or worked for multiple small presses and literary magazines in British Columbia, and I absolutely love the literary community here. I wanted to push myself a bit further out of my comfort zone and try something new with my professional placement, so I started thinking about working in marketing and publicity in publishing. My father’s family is Icelandic, and I have cousins there, so I had been following IWR on social media for a while, hoping to one day attend. When I found out that the organization offered a yearly marketing internship, I applied within the week.
IWR: How do you feel about being involved with the Iceland Writers Retreat?
Jessica: I am so excited to be involved! Getting to work with such an amazing organization, talking to writers about the opportunities it affords them, travelling to such a beautiful place, and getting to participate in a retreat with so many talented faculty… this is such a fantastic opportunity, and I’ve been able to talk about little else since I found out I got the internship!
IWR: What do you like to write?
Jessica: I did my undergrad degree in Creative Writing, so I used to write a bit of everything: fiction, journalistic features, poetry, (very occasionally) scripts… but my biggest love is creative non-fiction, particularly personal essay. The university I went to, Vancouver Island University, was small but my program was so fantastic, and I feel very lucky to have worked closely with professors whose work I had admired for years as a reader. In particular, Susan Juby fostered my love of CNF and Joy Gugeler made me realize I wanted to work in publishing beyond being a writer––she is the reason I enrolled in the MPub degree.
Since I’ve been in the MPub, and usually trying to balance 1-3 internships or jobs on top of it, I’ve barely made time for my personal writing, and I am so excited to recapture my excitement for it in Iceland. I can’t think of a more beautiful or inspiring place to reconnect with the craft, or more interesting and accomplished teachers to be learning from.
IWR: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Jessica: In a job that lets me continue to doing what I love. Working with books and authors that inspire me, and sharing the excitement and passion I have for the industry with a greater audience. Also, hopefully I will be a lot better at actually submitting my work to literary magazines rather than letting it languish in my drafts folder.